I recently went onsite to a client’s headquarters to facilitate a Strategy & Discovery session – the first step in a data analytics journey. With this client and many others, I’ve noticed some common issues with their current state that prompted them to invest in data analytics. Here are three symptoms of an association that could benefit from data analytics. Anything sound familiar?

  1. Struggling to get data out of transactional systems. Once your AMS has been in use for four or more years, you’ll want to analyze all that great data being generated. Applications such as AMS, event management systems, and financial management systems are transactional systems designed to efficiently create, change, and store data. It’s not easy to get data out, though. Conversely, a centralized data warehouse uses a dimensional data model to store data in way that makes it easy to retrieve for analysis. 
  2. Time-consuming, incorrect reports. When management needs to make a decision, they rely on reports. These report are often manually created using Excel or Word and come from many different sources (e.g., your AMS, your financial software, event management, etc.). Reports prone to human errors, manipulation and can be time consuming to produce.
  3. No “single version of the truth.” When there are multiple versions of queries or reports, it becomes difficult for staff to know what to believe when trying to make decisions. Using a combination of a granular data model and data visualization navigation, you can create executive dashboards with drill-down capabilities for deeper analysis. This means that everyone from your executive team to your business staff has access to the same information and can get more details when needed. Not only can a data warehouse store information from disparate sources, it also serves as a single version of the truth.

Clients we work with may have these or other symptoms, but they all share one thing in common. They are ready to make a culture shift to seeking and yearning for data to guide decisions.